As Jason over at FierceMobileContent reported, The Wall Street Journal reports today that Verizon is in advanced talks with YouTube to bring the popular Internet video site's clips to mobile phones and televisions. According to sources close to the negotiations, subscribers of Verizon Wireless' premium V Cast service would be given access to about 50 to 100 of the most popular YouTube videos at any given time; by year's end, users should also be able to upload personal video shot with a Verizon camera phone to the V Cast network.
While many in the industry are dismissing this deal as of little consequence to either YouTube or Verizon, I must humbly disagree. The deal has huge implications for user-generated content--making it available through a VOD service. If Google's $1.6 billion acquisition of YouTube didn't do enough to validate the UGC sector, Verizon's decision to offer that content to its paying subscribers on an actual television should leave no doubt that this is a sector with legs. While the deal is still just a rumor (the WSJ rarely gets it wrong, though), hopefully it will encourage other telcos to look at so-called Web 2.0 content offerings and incorporate them into their IPTV offerings. Why not Digg.com on an EPG? And if you've got a deal with Fox for content, why not see how to work MySpace in, too?
For more on the deal:
- see the full article over at FierceMobileContent
- and the article over at WSJ (sub. req.)